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Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead Hardcover – May 24, 2010


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Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead + Groundswell, Expanded and Revised Edition: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (May 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470597267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470597262
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An essential guide for leaders who want to use social media to be "open" while maintaining control

"Be Open, Be Transparent, Be Authentic" are the current leadership mantras-but companies often push back. Business is premised on the concept of control and yet the new world order demands openness-leaders do not know how to be open and be in control. This must-have resource will help the modern leader understand how to lead in the new open world-where blogging, twittering, facebooking, and digging are becoming the norm. the author lays out the steps that leaders must take to transform their organizations and themselves into being "open" -and exactly what that will mean.

  • Shows how to use social media to become an open organization
  • Offers basic advice for leaders who are adapting to the new era of openness in the marketplace
  • The author Charlene Li is one of the foremost experts on social media and technologies

In easy-to-understand language, this book will help leaders orient themselves to social networking and other technological advances.

How Open Leadership Differs from Traditional Leadership
Content from author Charlene Li

Although the traits of good leaders are universal, there are new skills and behaviors that open leaders must learn and master to be effective. In particular, open leaders must act as a catalyst to creating greater openness in organization, in ways that differ significantly from traditional leadership:

About Author Charlene Li:

Charlene Li is founder of the Altimeter Group and the coauthor (with Josh Bernoff) of the critically acclaimed, bestselling book Groundswell. She is one of the foremost experts on social media and technologies, and is a consultant and independent thought leader on leadership, strategy, social technologies, interactive media, and marketing. Formerly, Li was vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and a consultant with Monitor Group. She was named one of The 12 Most Creative Minds of 2008 by Fast Company, and one of the Most Influential Women in Technology 2009.

Review

'...shows leaders how to tap into the power of the social technology revolution.' (Publicnet.co.uk, April 2011).

More About the Author

Charlene Li is founder of Altimeter Group and the coauthor of the critically acclaimed, bestselling book Groundswell. She is one of the foremost experts on social media and technologies and a consultant on leadership, strategy, social technologies, interactive media, and marketing. Formerly Li was vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research and a consultant with Monitor Group. She was named one of the 100 most creative business minds of 2010 by Fast Company, and one of the most influential women in technology in 2009. You can follow Charlene on her site at charleneli.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/charleneli.

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to become a more effective leader in the new economy.
Nancy Loderick
I find her style of writing captivating and the material in the book is well organized with a lot of useful practical suggestions.
Amazon Customer
In this book, Li declares open leadership to be a vital factor in whether an organization succeeds using social media.
Eric D. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on June 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charlene Li is one of the authors of Groundswell and that book helped set the stage for business use of social technologies. In Open Leadership, Li breaks away from her co-authors providing a discussion and examination of the social technology's impact on the enterprise in more detail. She enters a crowded world of recent social technology based books and adds value to the social technology conversation and less to the leadership conversation.

Overall this is a good book providing a starting point for people looking to understand what social technology is and what it may mean for the enterprise. However, the state of social technology has moved beyond naming names and describing solutions to understanding the tough decisions and executing plans to realize value in the enterprise. Li tries to take on these issues, but falls short, keeping this from being a great book. This is a four star social technology book and a two and a half star leadership book.

Open Leadership has more to say about social technology than a leadership or management. It spends most of its pages talking about social technologies and its implementations. The leadership aspects to this book are not unique to social technologies You can see this in terms of her new rules for open leadership

1. Respect that your customers and employees have power
2. Share constantly to build trust
3. Nurture curiosity and humility
4. Hold openness accountable
5. Forgive failure

These rules are important, but they are not unique to social technology. In fact similar rules have been the subject of management books for the last 15 years. It is not that these are wrong, or bad advice, but these are things that students of management and leadership already know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marylene Delbourg-Delphis on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the eighties, IT folks and executives had qualms about providing desktop computers to their employees - the idea of empowering them boiled down to relinquishing command and control. Yet, the world didn't stop turning. The accelerated rise of social media poses a similar problem, albeit much larger by an order of magnitude, because this time employees and customers didn't ask anybody for the permission to show their power. So, either you try to fight it (with virtually no chance of winning), or you realize that you too can leverage social media, understand what Open leadership is about, and "how social technology can transform the way you lead," in just the same way people understood how social media technology would enable them to stand up in your face.

The book "is about how leaders must let go to gain more," "open leadership" being defined as "having the confidence and the humility to give up the need to be in control while inspiring commitment from people to accomplish goals." The task is not easy, and Charlene is well aware that calls from various management experts for leaders to remodel their management styles for the last fifty years "have gone largely unanswered." Why does she feel she can succeed while so many have been preaching in the desert?

I see two main reasons why this book has a much higher chance of impact.

1) The context: "Giving up control is inevitable."
While many books on management have characterized the traits and mindset of open leaders along similar lines as Charlene does throughout her book, the reasons for people to change are structurally different. For the last fifty years, these reasons had somewhat of a normative undertone, ranging from becoming a more charismatic person to preparing for an undefined future.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Joshua D. Bernoff on May 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Disclosure first: Charlene Li was my coauthor on Groundswell and my company now competes with hers.

I was impressed with this book. Charlene starts out with this thesis:

Open leadership is having the confidence and humility to give up the need to be in control while inspiring commitment from people to accomplish goals.

This is not just a paean to openness. First of all, Charlene makes the case that social technology gives customers and employees access to all sorts of power and information now, and more openness is the only response. And second, the book includes tools to help you, for example, assess your own level of openness and what your organization can tolerate.

I found some parts of the book a lot more useful or interesting than others. Here are three good parts.

1. Sandbox covenants. These are the rules organizations set up to determine what sorts of limits and conventions there are on openness. The book includes a link to social media policies of a bunch of corporations, not yet live, but I am looking forward to seeing that. This discussion, in Chapter 5, goes a long way to helping bridge the gap between social media backers within companies and corporate policymakers.

2. Organizational models for openness. Charlene describes three types of organization: organic, centralized, and coordinated, and shows when each one makes sense. Given all the questions I get these days about organization for social, this is quite relevant.

3. Leadership mindsets and traits. Chapter 7 classifies leaders according to whether they are optimistic or pessimistic, and whether they are independent or collaborative. Anyone who has ever had a boss will find this instructive. This is a fascinating way to look at leadership.
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